From the Trenches

Don’t Just Create a Blog, Nurture It – 5 Tips

Will Davis | July 29, 2009

So you’ve gone ahead and set up a blog for your company.  Or maybe you are just starting to think about it but aren’t sure what to do – or whether you should even have a blog.  No matter which of these camps you fall into, it’s critical to your success that you don’t just create a blog, you nurture it.  While an exhaustive list here could be a few hundred tactical points, these are the big keys that will help you to be more successful with your blog:

1). Start with a Strategy

This sounds incredibly obvious but amazingly isn’t usually the case.  Most blogs fall down because there is no strategy in place on how and when to communicate, what you want to say, who you are trying to reach, and all the other crucial elements.  All too often, businesses start a blog without a well-defined strategy and it all falls apart from there.  Make sure you have a plan in place for what you will discuss (more below) how frequently (at least enough to keep your audience’s interest) and that you have the time and people to write well.

2). Write What You Know, And Please — Don’t Sell, Educate

One of the basic tenets of writing has always been to write what you know.  Hand in hand with that, on your blog make sure you aren’t just pushing a sales agenda.  Use the blog as a forum to educate visitors on your area of expertise rather than a hard sell pushing your company.  Nobody wants to go to a cocktail party and listen to someone talk about themselves the whole time, and nobody wants to read your blog if it’s just a hard sell for your company.  Instead, be interesting and educate your visitors.

3). Make Your Blog Accessible

This really spans a variety of items on your page.  On your page, make it easy to search by having items such as a prominent search box, categories, tags, easily sorted archives and clean design and navigation  — it’s really surprising how often that basic is missed!  If visitors can’t figure out what to do on your blog because your design is screaming at them then your content is nearly worthless.

4). Make It Easy for Visitors to Interact and Share

The whole idea of a blog as a social vehicle is to be, well, social right?  So, make it easy for visitors to do just that by providing easy access to tools that let them share your post with their networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Technorati, social bookmarking etc.), post comments, and contact the authors.  Link to other interesting blogs in your blogroll so your visitors get even more value out of your blog.

5). Let People Know You Are Out There

Again, this covers a number of items.  On the simple side, make sure you are submitting your blog to search engines, relevant directories, industry specialty sites, providing visitors an easy to use RSS feed, and promoting it on your website and in email.  Additionally, consider utilizing your online and offline networks to make folks aware of your blog and latest posts.  Share a new post if you are on Twitter, but also tell people at your networking meeting if it is relevant.  Add a blog app to LinkedIn (such as the WordPress app if you are using WordPress) but don’t be afraid to mention and send a link to a relevant post to a client or prospect.

While there are hundreds of additional tips to enhance your blog, make sure you are first nurturing your blog with these 5 easy keys.

Have other key steps you would like to add?  Add it to the comments below.

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